Saturday, December 28, 2013

Emma Forrest: Your Voice in My Head

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Emma Forrest has written the Book Of themacinator's Year. "Your Voice in My Head" is about Forrest's love affair with her therapist- and not in the gross, movie, overdone way of most of these stories: there is no actual inappropriate relationship between Forrest and her therapist. Rather, Forrest finds a therapist who is skilled in a way we all hope therapists will be; in helping their clients (us) heal. And then he dies. And Forrest, in a very human, not always in a straightforward line way, continues to heal, even though sometimes it seems to her and us that she won't. When he dies, Forrest finds out that she isn't special: the therapist had helped many others heal which relieves her of her guilt- she "wasted" her last phone session with him, being flippant and not talking about any issues and not knowing that he was dying. In so many ways, this is all of our worst nightmares: our therapist dies before we're ready (are we ever ready?) and then, to top it off, we aren't the only ones in his life! I mean, we must know that, we're paying for the privilege of an hour a week in his presence, but our egos protect us from this fact. Forrest, though, seems to get it: this man saved people, and all of these people, like her, are now alone. They depended on him, and are dealing with the first part: alone before their time, like spouses without their partner.

I could not put this book down. Forrest is a gripping writer. She falls into a passionate relationship with an actor who she refers to by a pseudonym and who I stubbornly refused to look up until after the book was over (even though, after looking him up, I had no idea who he was, which isn't surprising, since I don't know who Sean Connery is- and no, that's not him). She struggles through the aftermath of the relationship, because of course there's an aftermath, with the help of her mother and a new therapist and some medication and her voice in her head. "Time heals all wounds. And if it doesn't, you name them something other than wounds and agree to let them stay."


thb said...

I added it to my list!